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J Pediatr Psychol. 2011 May;36(4):466-75. doi: 10.1093/jpepsy/jsq114. Epub 2011 Jan 29.

Treatment factors affecting longitudinal quality of life in new onset pediatric epilepsy.

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  • 1Division of Behavioral Medicine and Clinical Psychology, Center for the Promotion of Adherence and Self Management, MLC-7039, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, 3333 Burnet Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45229, USA.



Recognizing the importance of patient-reported outcomes, this longitudinal, prospective study examined: Changes in health-related quality of life (HRQOL) over seven months following antiepileptic drug (AED) initiation and the relationship of seizures, AED side-effects, and AED type to HRQOL.


Parents of 124 children with newly diagnosed epilepsy completed measures of HRQOL and side-effects at each clinic visit. Treatment information was also collected.


HRQOL remained stable over time; however, seizures and AED side-effects significantly affected multiple HRQOL domains. Higher seizure activity was associated with decreased Physical HRQOL. Side-effects were negatively associated with all HRQOL domains. Children taking carbamazepine who experienced higher side-effects early in therapy demonstrated declining emotional functioning compared to children experiencing no/some side-effects.


AED side-effects, AED type, and seizure frequency were associated with longitudinal HRQOL in children with newly-diagnosed epilepsy. Routine assessment of AED side-effects and HRQOL may be useful for clinical decision making.

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